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Galeorhinus galeus  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Tope shark
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Galeorhinus galeus
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks) > Triakidae (Houndsharks) > Galeorhininae
Etymology: Galeorhinus: Greek, galeos = a shark + Greek, rhinos = nose (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 1100 m (Ref. 26346), usually 2 - 471 m (Ref. 43939).   Subtropical; 70°N - 58°S, 111°E - 37°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 134.0, range 120 - 185 cm
Max length : 193 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); 195.0 cm TL (female); common length : 160 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9258); max. published weight: 44.7 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 55 years (Ref. 6871)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. A large houndshark with a long, pointed snout, a large mouth, and small blade-like teeth; 2nd dorsal about as large as anal fin and terminal caudal lobe as long as rest of fin (Ref. 5578). Greyish above, white below; young with black markings on fins (Ref. 5578).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

World-wide in temperate waters (Ref. 58085). Western Atlantic: southern Brazil to Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: Iceland, Norway, Faeroe Islands, British Isles to the Mediterranean and Senegal; Namibia to South Africa (Western Indian Ocean). Western Pacific: Australia and New Zealand. Eastern Pacific: British Columbia (Canada) to southern Baja California, Gulf of California; Peru and Chile. Questionable records in Ivory Coast, Nigerai, Gabon to Congo Dem Rep and Laysan Is. (Hawaii) (Ref 244).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Mainly demersal on continental and insular shelves, but also on the upper slopes, at depths from near shore to 550 m (Ref. 6871). Has been shown to be pelagic in the open ocean (frequently caught on floating tuna longlines over deep water, and many New Zealand-tagged specimens have been recaptured in Australia) (Ref. 26346). Occurs in small schools that are highly migratory in higher latitudes in their range (Ref. 244). There is pronounced partial segregation by size and sex in some areas (Ref. 244). Feeds on fishes (bottom as well as pelagic species, Ref. 26346), crustaceans, cephalopods, worms, and echinoderms (Ref. 244). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Its meat is excellent for human consumption, liver for squalene oil, fins for soup (Ref. 244); also utilized as fishmeal (Ref. 13563). Marketed fresh, dried-salted, and frozen (Ref. 9987). Adapts well in captivity if carefully captured and handled (Ref. 12951).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Ovoviviparous, without a yolk-sac placenta (Ref. 244). Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). 6 to 52 young in a litter (Ref. 26346). Litter size increases with the size of the mother. Embryos reach 30-36 cm TL at birth (Ref. 6080). In the southern waters of Australia, newly born and older juveniles (30-70 cm long) aggregate in 'nursery areas' found in shallow waters.They move to deeper coastal waters to over-winter. The following spring finds most of these young returning to their nursery areas. The older ones, aged 2 years and over move instead to eastern Bass Strait where most of the immature stock are found. The length of an average full-term embryo is 32 cm. Spawning frequency is once every year, ovulation occurring in early summer and parturition is completed by January of the following year. Gestation period lasts for about 12 months (Ref. 6390, 6871).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Compagno, Leonard J.V. | Collaborators

Compagno, L.J.V., 1984. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2 - Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/2):251-655. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 244)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd+3d+4bd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless (Ref. 13563)




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00331 (0.00230 - 0.00476), b=3.05 (2.94 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.7 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (rm=0.033; tmax=55; Fec=6-52).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (74 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.